Friends in Christ,
What an exciting month we had in July! For me, July was full of all kinds of activities with our St. Paul’s youth!
Earlier in July, I was blessed to be able to spend a week with our High School youth serving and exploring in the Virginia and Washington, DC areas. This was a great chance to connect with them and get to know them better.
We’re working on putting together a way to share our trip with the congregation—our memories, pictures, and reflections on the experience. But, for a brief summary, we participated in a wide range of service activities, including cutting and stacking firewood, weeding and restoring a preschool playground, and clearing brush along the camp road. There was also time to adventure and explore, in both Harper’s Ferry, and Washington, DC. We went whitewater rafting (and I got dumped in the river!), and the youth tested their balance and courage on a ropes course. In Washington, DC we toured the Capitol grounds and a couple of the museums.
Again, there will be more to share later. However, I want to be sure that the whole congregation knows how thankful I am for your support, generosity, and prayers during our time away. Your generosity helped make this trip possible. And, perhaps more exciting, the youth want to do something again next summer! We’ll see what the future may hold.
At the end of July, we also had a MONUMENTAL week of Vacation Bible School! I had a great week getting to know the younger kids in our congregation, and learning about the story of Joseph with them through Bible stories, games, crafts, and music. Each day we had a different theme, and one of my jobs was to be sure that the kids remembered the theme for each day. This year, I spent my time “floating” between groups, getting to know the flow of VBS and spending time with all the different age groups and activities.
I am so thankful for all the volunteers that helped make VBS such a wonderful week. So many people were involved in the program. There were those who worked behind the scenes with scenery, setup, cleanup, and daily preparations, those who prayed for us, those who donated items or money for the program, and all the people who led the kids throughout, thank you all for your hard work, dedication, energy, and generosity. We also give thanks for our fearless leader, Bev! Thank you for your visioning, leadership, and dedication!
As July comes to a close, it is time to look toward the fall. I look forward to spending more time with our youth, but also more time with the adult members of our congregation! As our next program year starts up, look for Bible study opportunities, and invitations to participate in music, arts, fellowship, service, and more. Let’s extend this wonderful energy from July into the months ahead!
Above all, let us give thanks to God for creating this wonderful community here at St. Paul’s where we can grow, learn, serve, and explore together! THANKS BE TO GOD!
Rev. Jessica Hahn